Influencer marketing: you know it, and (we hope) you love it. Why? Because it’s absolutely running the digital marketing game right now!
However, influencer marketing campaigns are changing. The days of partnering with an influencer for one-time sponsored posts are gone. We’re in the era of integrated influencer marketing, which utilizes them in all stages of the customer journey.
This all-encompassing approach is key to 360° digital elevation. Thinking beyond an influencer’s impact on social media will open doors you may have previously thought closed with your target audience—and bring in a whole lot of conversions in the process.
Keep reading to learn about the influencer marketing funnel!
To understand why integrated influencer marketing works so well, you first need to familiarize yourself with the marketing funnel. It has four stages: awareness, consideration, conversion, and, lastly, the loyalty and advocacy stage.
As we’ll get into, getting people to the conversion stage is the goal. It means you got them to buy your product or service. However, the next step is to turn a customer into a brand advocate.
But how do you do this using influencer marketing? Stick around to find out.
Influencer marketing builds trust. It gets talked about all the time, but people want to buy things from those they know and like. When your brand is aligned with someone people love, you immediately get a leg up on the competition.
As mentioned, influencer marketing is most effective when it goes beyond social media. 2024 will be a year when brands should consider more creative ways to incorporate influencers into their digital efforts. Don’t stop at Instagram or TikTok. Think about how you can integrate them into content that supports all stages of the marketing funnel. That is how you win.
Now, let’s look at influencer marketing tactics at each stage of the marketing funnel in more detail.
As a starting point, let’s take a look at how influencers can help in building brand awareness online. This is important because you want people to know you exist, right?
When it comes to top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) marketing, the goal is to drive traffic to your brand’s social media profiles, website, etc. Ideally, you then want this traffic converted into leads who may choose to buy your product or service.
This stage is all about engagement. Key performance indicators at this point are likes, hashtags, reposts, shares—whatever your chosen online platform dictates. As such, those should translate into more activity on your site.
Influencers can introduce your brand to a broader audience by creating engaging and shareable content that highlights your products or services. This can include product reviews (make sure they’re honest!), unboxing and first impression-style videos to build hype, or even just social media shoutouts.
Giveaways are a great option, too. Not only does this get your product into the hands of your desired influencer, but by literally giving it away, you’re also getting it to a would-be consumer, too. Hard not to like that outlook.
The consideration stage is where decisions are made. Here, would-be buyers are weighing your product against your competitors. Why should they choose you instead of someone else? Answer that question with your marketing strategy!
In the middle of the funnel (MOFU), your marketing goals should be focused on nurturing leads by providing valuable information. You want to stay top of mind with your audience and provide information that pushes them further down the funnel toward a conversion.
During the consideration stage, you should prioritize quality over quantity. What kind of interactions are you getting? Think about your like-to-comment ratio as well as your follower growth. You want to know who’s staying on the hook.
At this stage, you want influencers to create informative content that addresses common questions or concerns potential customers may have about your products or services.
This can take several forms:
You probably caught on to the overarching theme: providing information that helps a potential customer understand why your offering is the best.
This is the stage everyone loves to talk about when it comes to marketing funnels. Here’s where you turn those leads into customers and get that sale. Cha-ching!
At the so-called bottom of the funnel (BOFU), the goal is simple: get the sale! You’re trying to get your product moving and into people’s hands.
This is where all your paid media metrics come into play. Track discount code redemptions—these are huge—as well as link clicks (CTR), return on ad spend for repurposed content, subscriptions, and, most importantly of all, sales.
Influencers can really help at this stage. Beyond offering unique discount codes, you can also collaborate with them for time-sensitive promotions, creating a sense of urgency and encouraging immediate action. Scarcity works.
Personalized recommendations are something else to consider. When influencers provide personalized product recommendations to their audience based on their needs and preferences, it increases the likelihood of conversion. People want to feel as if they’re being spoken to—it’s marketing 101, folks!
User-generated content (UGC) is also key here, as it encourages customers influenced by an influencer to share their experiences using your products or services, creating social proof and building trust with other users online. Co-hosting educational webinars or workshops with influencers can also position your brand as an industry authority and drive sign-ups
But wait, there’s more!
Yes, while you might be tempted to think the hard work (and the value of influencers) ends with the conversion, we want to correct your thinking. This is where the real work begins and where influencers truly shine.
Building ongoing relationships with influencers who align with your brand values fosters loyalty and consistent advocacy. You can do this by inviting influencers to become brand ambassadors, representing your brand on a long-term basis and engaging with their followers over a prolonged period of time. This consistent representation will open the door to feedback from them as well as their audiences, so make sure to keep your ears open!
If you really want to get to the next level, consider collaborating with influencers on the development of new products, services, or content. Involving them in your brand’s innovation process can be a great idea considering how well they know your buyers.
Lastly, encourage influencers to interact with their followers on your behalf, responding to questions and comments and reinforcing a positive brand image. Make sure their authenticity is shining through because nobody likes a corporate puppet!
That concludes a look at how 360° influencer marketing works, and how you can apply it across all stages of the marketing funnel. Apply what you’ve learned to reap the rewards—or let The Influence Agency do it for you!
We specialize in all things influencer marketing. We’ll connect you with the right content creator to represent your brand, help you plan your strategy, and support you every step of the way. We’ll even help you track the results, too!
Contact us today to start crushing the influencer marketing funnel.1